Guidelines for Project Maintainer moderation

Remember these aren't rules, there's simply suggestions project maintainers are free to use when moderating projects on Freedesktop - especially when using Gitlab.

Dealing with Spam

If possible or unless told otherwise, don't report spam through Gitlab's reporting system. Because of how much spam we get, we've setup a spam bot that project maintainers can use instead to prevent the pipes from getting clogged up - and get a much faster response. When you see spam:

  • If it's an issue or a merge requeest, add the "spam" label to it on Gitlab. This will hide the comment immediately
  • If it's a comment, react with the do not litter emoji 🚯 and the bot will do its civic duty

Note that the bot isn't setup by default, but can be setup for any project on freedesktop's gitlab. See for information on how to do this

Documenting incidences

Document things first and foremost, such as with screenshots

The biggest reason for this: Gitlab does not keep an edit history for comments, nor does it keep track of deleted comments. Once something has been removed or edited it's gone. Taking record of incidents can help the CoC team act on those when/if you reach out to them - as it makes it much easier to spot repeated patterns of behavior.

Inappropriate comments

If you come across a comment that feels inappropriate or hinders a healthy discussion, consider one of the following actions:

  • Editing the comment with a canned response such as:
    • "This comment has been removed as discussion about Foo is off-topic, and should be discussed in its own issue"
    • "This comment has been hidden due to inflammatory language, please assume good faith when participating in discussions."
  • You can also delete the comment
  • You can also add a spoiler tag when editing the comment, to keep the body of the comment intact - but collapse it by default.

Be aware that no notification will be generated for editing or comments, unless you explicitly mention somebody not mentioned before.

Limit engagement with problematic comments to moderating them

Trying to argue with someone or accuse them of wrongdoing will many times make a situation worse, and can also complicate things from the perspective of the CoC team. When problematic behavior occurs, it's recommended to keep responses brief and to the point - and to reach out to the code of conduct team if moderating the discussion fails.

Escalating issues within your project

If a contributor is causing issues within your project, as a project maintainer you may choose to exclude them from your project's spaces. If the behavior is completely egregious, please immediately escalate to the Code of Conduct committee who can take appropriate action. In most cases, we suggest first issuing a firm warning to them about their behavior, with a ban to be placed if they do not heed this warning.

You may take this decision independently as a maintainer, however if you need any assistance or would like to discuss anything, please feel free to get in touch with the committee.

Suggested template to issue warning

To: $contributor
Subject: Your behavior in $project

Dear $contributor,
Your behavior on $project has been [derailing|disrespectful|disruptive|inconsiderate]. As the maintainer of $project, I urge you to read the Code of Conduct you agreed to when signing up at

Please read this, consider your actions, and refrain from such behavior in future.

If there is no improvement in your behavior after this warning, we will consider either a temporary ban from all our project's spaces (issues, merge requests, mailing lists and other discussion forums, conferences, etc) or escalating to the Code of Conduct committee who can take more extensive action.

Maintainer, $project

Suggested template to issue ban

To: $contributor
Subject: Your behavior in $project

Dear $contributor,
Your behavior on $project has continued to be [derailing|disrespectful|disruptive|inconsiderate] despite my earlier warning.

As the maintainer of $project, I am hereby banning you from any interaction with the project. This includes, but is not limited to: issues, merge requests, mailing lists and other discussion forums, and conferences.

You can ask me to lift the ban after $time.

If you contravene this ban and continue to interact with the project, we will escalate this to the Code of Conduct committee who are likely to issue an immediate ban across all of

Maintainer, $project